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  1. This week, for the first time ever, I felt old. I have sciatica which swaps from one side to the other, arthritis in one hand and what I think is the beginnings of IBS. On top of that it took me 2 weeks to remember a registration number that once would take me 2 seconds, and I forgot my parent's wedding anniversary. I'm only 32. Shit. No I'm not. I'm 33. I forgot that too. (Genuinely) So, it's about time I committed some of my tales to paper. Well, a shonky server... but that's the best you can do in 2016. First up, a list of the cars I've owned (as best as I can remember) in chronological order. Main Cars 1985 VW Polo Formel E. C158 TRT. This was given to me even before I passed my test. 1991 Rover Metro S. J801 TAC. Bought about 3 months after I passed my test as I was convinced the Polo was about to shit its gearbox. 1987 Volvo 360 GLT. D899 CBJ ___ Managed three months in a Metro before the small car and smaller petrol tank became a bore. Ford Mondeo and Honda Civic Coupe by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1999 Ford Mondeo Zetec. V384 DBJ. Still the most I've ever spent on a car. It was 3 years old and cost, from memory, about £8,000. Just think of the Rover R8s you could buy with that now! 1987 Volkswagen Golf GTI 8v by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1987 Volkswagen Golf GTI D79 CVV. I very nearly bought a MK1 Golf 1.1 but was persuaded, by my father amusingly, to buy this one from a different friend. From memory I gave about £500 for it, and sold it to some racers later that year for about £300. Amusingly, 16 year later I'd sell the Hartge wheels that came with the car for £530. 1999 Toyota Avensis CDX by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1999 Toyota Avensis CDX. V781 GDP. By far the best car I've ever had. Bought in 2002 for £5300, it had previously been a company car at British Telecom. I ran it from 62,000 to 174,000 before it became surplus to requirements. A German chap bought it on ebay for about £500 and drove over to collect it. Hero. 2001 Ford Mondeo Zetec by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 2001 Ford Mondeo Zetec. Y821 EEB. I should have loved this car. I gave £500 for it in 2008 which was stupidly cheap by anybody's standards. It needed 4 tyres (which actually was nice to pick good ones for once) and a coil spring. Sadly, it was just bill after bill after bill. I sold it and promised to never own another Ford. I nearly succeeded. 1998 Nissan Almera by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1998 Nissan Almera GX Auto. S58 NLO. My late Grandfather's car and, upon reflection, my first proper attempt at bangernomics. I bought it for £500 in 2008 from the estate and ran it for well over a year and 30,000 miles. It was also my first automatic which, whilst a bit dumb, did lock up into overdrive and give a good 36 mpg no matter how it was driven. 2004 Ford Fiesta 1.25 LX and 2006 Ford Focus 2.0 Ghia by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 2004 Ford Fiesta Zetec. AG53 BWL. My wife's car which I ran for a couple of years when I bought her a Focus as a wedding gift. 2003 Rover 75 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 2003 Rover 75 Club SE. AX53 BFA. This is where my career as a serial car buyer really began. Ignoring all of the warning signs I decided to press a K Series into a daily 100 mile commute, which it did with aplomb. This wasn't actually the car I set out to buy, the one I'd agreed to buy OVERHEATED ON THE FORECOURT whilst I was doing the paperwork. Consequently I couldn't leave fast enough and bought a different car later that day. 2004 Toyota Avensis T30-X by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 2004 Toyota Avensis T3-X. KT53 DWZ. Sensible head back on, I decided to get back into something I trusted when my 3rd son was born. This was a lovely car, but not without its problems. The VVTi oil burning issues are well documented and do frequently occur. Ironically, this was less reliable than the Rover it replaced! Despite fearing the worst and 3 months off the road, the new owner has just MOTd it. 1999 Toyota Avensis SR by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1999 Toyota Avensis SR. V263 GDP. Back into bangernomics territory again. The last MK1 Avensis I had was the best car I'd ever had, so I hoped to replicate it with another T22 Avensis. This one came up for sale in my favourite (and rare) colour with a numberplate sequential to my previous car - so it was meant to be. I still have this now, and tomorrow it will tick around to 185,000 miles having been bought by me at 100,500. Side Bitches 1974 Morris Mini 1000 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1974 Morris Mini 1000. GEL 517N. Well, I always wanted one - and was young, free, single and well off at the time (2003). A memorable trip to buy it when I called my new girlfriend by my ex girlfriend's name 20 miles into a 200 mile weekend away. She's never forgiven or forgotten but we're still friends. Oh - and married. 1977 Ford Capri II GL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1977 Ford Capri II 1600 GL. SMY 675R. I can't remember why I bought this, other than I thought it'd be amusing. It was bought from Norwich for £350 and was perfectly well behaved for the 8 months that I had it (other than a flasher unit expiring). I remember being shocked just how much the windscreen would ice up inside, and duly sold it in November to a guy who was going to drive it daily! It's still alive and now, apparently, black! (Update - it's now silver!!!) 1989 Volvo 340 DL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1989 Volvo 340 DL. G67 AVN. I bought this for £80. Unbelievable. It was utterly bloody perfect. I wanted to do a banger rally which is why the guy gave it to me so cheap. I'm still yet to do that rally, but no longer have the car. I sold it for about £300 to a family who were clearly down on their luck who, I hope, still have the car. 1996 Toyota Granvia by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1996 Toyota Granvia. N775 JEV. My wife and I decided to increase our numbers further and, with our 4th son on the way, larger transport was required. We quickly realised you can either have 4 children and no apparel, or apparel and no children. After trying a very tired Mercedes Viano, the Granvia was found for 1/4 of the price and it's still here 2 years later. I can safely say that we'll never sell it - it really is another member of the family. 1993 Mercedes 190e by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1993 Mercedes 190e. L795 COJ. I've admired these cars since I was a child. In fact, one of the very few toy cars I still have from my childhood is a Mercedes 190e. Regular readers of "Memoirs from the Hard Shoulder" will know what a PITA this car has been since day 1, but I get the feeling it's a keeper. We'll see! 1983 Ford Sierra Base 1.6 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1983 Ford Sierra Base. GVG 510Y. Not explicitly my car, but it should be documented here for reference. Oh - and the V5 is in my name. The story is online for all to read as to how five of us acquired what is believed to be the only remaining Ford Sierra Base. Make a brew and read it, it's a fantastic story. 1982 Ford Sierra L by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1982 Ford Sierra L. LCR 503Y. I accidentally won this on ebay for £520. Upon reflection, I shouldn't have sold it - but short stop of saying I regret it. I could never get truly comfortable driving it and, in fairness, I could scratch my Sierra itch with the base if I wanted. Sold it at a stupid profit of £1250. It is believed to be the oldest remaining Ford Sierra in the UK. 1979 Volvo 343 DL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr 1979 Volvo 343 DL. DBY 466T As you'll see above, I'd had a 360GLT as a younger lad and fancied one of these earlier cars. The variomatic is, frankly, terrible but amusing. This car has just 8000 miles on the clock and inside was absolutely timewarp. Sadly, the huge bill for the Mercedes 190e cylinder head rebuild meant I had to sell this car shortly after acquiring it. Since then I've had a bit of money luck, and now realise I didn't need to sell it after all. Typical. I think that's it. My arthritis is playing up even more now. I've left out a few cars that were actually my wife's, but if I find pictures will add them in at a later date. I'll run this as an ongoing thread on cars and what's happening. Current SitRep: Purple Avensis: Just about to click over 185,000. Minor drama this week when an HT lead split but otherwise utterly fantastic, fantastically boring and boringly reliable. Granvia: Just done 1000 miles in a month around Norfolk, 6 up with suitcases. 31mpg achieved on the way up which is good for an old tub with a 3.0 Turbo Diesel on board. ODO displaying 175,000 which is a mix of miles and kilometers. Say 130,000 miles for argument's sake. Mercedes: Being a PITA. It's had the top end completely rebuilt after the chain came off. Now needs welding to pass another MOT and the gearbox bearings are on strike. It's about to go into the garage for winter until I can stomach it again. 151,000 miles on the clock. Sierra bASe: Still on sabbatical with AngryDicky who only took it bloody camping in cornwall! Legend.
  2. First some background: I was brought up with no car interest, a car was transport and nothing more which resulted in a selection of poor cheap cars being the cars of my youth. Fast forward many years (just over 9 years ago) and I have a wonderful* Vauxhall Vectra estate to carry us about. Unfortunately it is crap and throws fault codes at us with nothing being there when it is checked (even at Vauxhall) As Mrs T is the main pilot of this chariot with the two little miss T's on board, it has to go. The hunt is on for the new steed to safely and comfortably carry the family around. I have a company car at the time so big journeys are not an issue. ebay is my weapon of choice to find the new family car. It has to be good value cheap for no other reason than I am tight. Weeks of research with lots of cars that are too expensive and too far away for easy collection end up in my watch list. Finally a possible is spotted in Fife. I go and have a look and find a poor looking but solid car. One previous owner and lots of history. The auction was to end on the Saturday at midday, we were going to be out! I decided on how much I was willing to gamble on it and on the Saturday morning I put in my max bid but straight away it went to my max bid, I was winning but it had three hours to go with no room for me to go up! We went out anyway. I spent the next three hours kicking myself for not bidding more while we were out as it was the first car I had seen that fitted my criteria. Fate was in charge. On returning home I go straight on ebay to find 'Congratulations.............' For the grand total of £500 I had just won this fine vehicle! It has 5 months MOT and after fitting seat belts in the rear for the girls car seats it is pushed into daily service. My gamble and subsequent use results in a perfectly reliable car that actually does what it is supposed to do. Even more importantly Mrs T loves it so a win all round. All my cars have names (most are earned over a bit of time) and this one is called 'Gwendolen' ( G reg car and from Wales originally. I hate the name but I am not going to argue) That sums up part one, more will be along later (probably much later)
  3. None of my vehicles are really interesting enough for their own thread, so I'm going for a tat blog style consolidated thread. The modern* - Citroen Berlingo 2.0 HDi The best and only photo I have of it. Generally reliable but showing it's 153k miles in various areas. It's good at hauling people and things around, that's about all I can say. Current status - off road for fixing of torrential oil leak and floppy gear change. The classic* - BMW 318iS Photo stolen from seller's ad. A recent £292 ebay purchase. I thought I would strip it out and do some track days but after driving it for a while I'm not sure now. 112k miles, some sort of service history, far from a creampuff but hasn't been messed about with like so many. Check out the orange indicators and standard 15 inch rims. SOAVE. Current status - daily use. Motorbike 1 - Honda VFR750 Has done me well as a 'first big bike' but it's replacement is already lined up. Current status - Awoken from winter slumber and with MOT station pending results tomorrow. Motorbike 2 - Honda Fireblade Bought cheap as needs gearbox looking at - jumps out of second (they all do that if they've been ragged sir.) Current status - gearbox repair is after Berlingo on to-do list, hoping for on the road by June. So there they are. Not very interesting but I will update the thread with my with my various spannerings/misadventures/getting bored and selling them all etc.
  4. So many broken picture links! I'll fix it one day. I feel I can finally unlurk properly now that I have something worthy of Autoshite to post about. Day One In the cold light of Day Two Came with some great features. The best thing about vinyl is that you *can* scrub it clean and with this old boat that was needed; everything was sticky and left a black residue on the hands. I've only been able to bring myself to spend an hour on the driver's door, the rest will have to wait for now. Doesn't look as big as it feels, weirdly. This is going to be my new daily in a few months, just got to get through a lot of cleaning and a bit of fettling. She's actually not that bad overall and only cost me £450 (plus £25 day insurance to collect her). The problems? >Quite a few rust blebs, but nothing serious or structural >Handbrake needs adjusting, I have to chock the wheels when parked on the drive >Driver's door window doesn't work >Probably decades of hand grease and silicone spray, built up in alternating layers. The engine bay is cleaner than the cabin. >Bonnet rams don't hold up the bonnet. >Neither do the boot rams. >Garage fitted electric fuel pump has no supressor, interferes with the LW/MW radio >PYE tape deck needs new belts, music played on it sounds like it's underwater >Bad previous respray with water contamination. But you know what, none of that matters. She's supremely comfortable and with some TLC over the summer should be in fine fettle. I'm not sure whether or not the people that look with face agog and jaw slack as I drive past are impressed, worried or amazed that a beige Princess with a brown roof still exists and is out on the road with someone a long way from pensionable age driving it.
  5. What do you get after 16 hours and 800 miles of driving on a Sunday to collect two cars? Well @sharley17194 picks up a 1997 Citreon AX from the depths of the Lakes on the North West coast past Keswick. However, we actually started the day by driving to just near Cromer on the East coast to pick up this! An Austin Montego poverty spec estate with a 1.3L A-series engine! Yes you did read that bit right! Yes I know the DVLA lists the model as 1.6... Yes its correctly registered as 1.3L. No I dont know if its a factory 1.3L! 😂 My favourite part of all this??? (Apart from the doom blue colour and the absolutely terrible interior!) 281,000 miles on the clock! Collection went really well and the below posts follows my initial assessment of what is quite frankly the best car I have ever purchased.
  6. Well I've been meaning to sign up here in forever, but kept forgetting. Thanks to someone over on another forum I frequent poking me about it recently the subject was forced back into my very brief attention span for long enough to get me to act on the instruction. I figure that my little varied fleet might bring you lot some amusement... So...we've got: 1993 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate (now fuel injected, as I reckon the later cars should have been from the factory...). 1989 Saab 900i Automatic. 1987 Skoda 120LX 21st Anniversary Special Edition. 1985 Sinclair C5. 2009 Peugeot 107 Verve. Now getting the photos together has taken me far longer than I'd expected...so you're gonna get a couple of photos of each car for now, and I'll come back with some more information tomorrow when I've got a bit more time... Firstly...The Lada. Before anyone asks - in response to the single question I get asked about this car: No, it is not for sale. Took me 13 years and my father's inheritance to find the thing. Yes, it's got the usual rusty wings...Hoping that will be resolved in the next couple of months. Next, a proper old Saab. One of the very last 8 valve cars apparently, and all the better for it. I've driven two 16v autos and they were horrible - the auto box works sooooo much better with the torque curve of the 8 valve engine. Just wish it had an overdrive for motorway cruising... Next up a *real* Skoda...back when they put the engine where it belongs, right out the back. In the best possible colour of course...eye-searingly bright orange. Seat covers have been added since that photo was taken as it suffers from the usual rotting seat cloth problem that affects virtually all Estelles. Then we have possibly the world's scruffiest Sinclair C5... Realised when looking for this that I really need to get some more photos of the thing...I use it often enough after all! We have a dog who's half husky, so this is a really good way of getting him some exercise. Finally - again, I really need to take more photos of - we have the little Pug 107. Included for the sake of variety even if it's a bit mainstream! First (and probably to be the only) new car I've bought, and has been a cracking little motor and has asked for very little in return for putting up with nearly three years of Oxford-Milton Keynes commuter traffic, before finally escaping that fate when my housemate moved to a new job. Now it doesn't do many miles and is my default car for "when I've managed to break everything else." I'll fill in some more details tomorrow - I warn you though that I do tend to ramble...
  7. Hi folks, As I threatened in my first post in the 'introduce yourself' thread, I will slowly be getting the fleet posted up on here for everyone to admire/ridicule. I will be the first to admit I have a hoarding problem, and at one point I had around 18 cars in addition to the stock that I was trading at the time... I eventually listened to those close to me who had been constantly nagging over the years, weaned myself back to one car for a year or so, realised that without projects to play with I was constantly bored and miserable and so decided that having one car was a crock of shit and I should buy more again. Always just one more, never more than that 😆 At the moment we have the following, some running and on the road, some not so much... Nothing irreparable though, and I will try my best to document the work I do as I pick away it on them all. So, on to the cars that we've got currently: 2007 mk3 Renault Clio 1.2 - mentioned for completeness, and because I put a new engine in it recently and effectively got the car for £150 I'm still feeling sort of smug. I got given it for free with a snapped cam belt after helping someone out, I bought the cheapest engine I could find, put a new cam belt on it and hoped for the best. It's now my partner's daily, and she's happy enough with it. I'm wary of it, as it contains computers, but whilst it runs it means I can delay welding my partner's Subaru! After driving it for a bit myself, I actually don't mind it and I've come to think it's an alright car for what it is despite being incredibly dull 😯 2000 Mk1 Honda Insight - I bought this around 2015/2016 when I was importing cars from Japan and put it in storage. It was tipped to go up in value... It didn't really. Before the world fell apart we used to drive on the continent a lot (my partner is Slovakian, we try to drive to see family rather than fly) so I recently took it out of storage and put it on the road in anticipation of getting some road trips in once the borders open. This is currently my daily driver. 2001 Mitsubishi Shogun Sport 3.0 V6 - This is our thunderbird, useful for rescuing the other cars when they shit themselves. So thirsty on fuel that you barely notice the change in economy when driving it unladen or with 1.5t dragged behind it 😆 Typical Japanese reliability, the engine and box are always well behaved but I'm forever welding bits into the holes in the body. I keep thinking of selling it, but it saved our arse when another car died just before a road trip to Zurich so I like to keep it around. It's quite good fun to take to pay and play days too, when I'm not busy throwing money at other stuff. 1994 Skoda Favorit Silverline Estate - I swapped another car I wanted to get out of for this one. The main attraction is that it horrifies my partner, as she had one as her first car and hated it. I've replaced quite a lot on this to get it running right, as it had some issues when I picked it up, I've also spent a good few days welding the underneath up. It still needs some bodywork and a tidy but it was a perfectly good daily up until the head gasket let go. It's still taxed and tested, the cylinder head is sat in the boot of the Mitsubishi ready to take for a skim, so hopefully I'll have her up and running again soon. I don't know why, but I've grown pretty fond of it over the time I've had it, despite the fact that it is fairly crap to drive by modern standards! 2001 Subaru Legacy Outback 3.0 H6 - Bought cheap with a short MOT, it was all going so well until I started picking at the inner arches. This was my partner's daily up until the MOT ran out, and ever since it's been on the 'I'll get round to it' list. Other than some crustiness, it's a pretty decent car. The flat 6 engine sounds beautiful through the stainless exhaust. It's rapid for a wagon, and has all the creature comforts you could want. It's fairly straightforward to work on. I think this is about our 6th or 7th Legacy, I keep getting rid of them and then regretting it. I'm told we are selling this one once I fix it... I may just buy my partner out of it, save us buying another one in a few months time 😆 2001 Mercedes E430 V8 Estate - £250 facebook marketplace special. Ran great for 6 months, providing loads of V8 fun. Bloody quick in a straight line, and huge inside. Easily one of my favourite shit heaps I've ever owned. Then the gearbox took a dump before we left for Zurich in 2019 (yes, I am stupid enough to plan a 3,000 mile foreign trip in a £250 German car...). I've since bought a replacement gearbox, which conveniently came attached to a 5.4l AMG lump from a CLK55 AMG that a mate was breaking, plus all the other bits I wanted to grab off of it. It's currently sat up at my parent's farm, firmly on the 'I'll get round to it' list. 2001 Mercedes SLK 320 - Bought off the mate who sold me the AMG lump, I got this as something to work on with my younger brother. It had a snapped control arm, and subsequently a knackered engine and gearbox. My mate chucked in a spare engine and gearbox, and we are most of the way through the repair work. The hardest part of this project has been both mine and my brother's working hours changing, making it hard to find the time to work together. 1992 Honda Prelude 2.2 Si VTEC - Another Japanese import, I bought it when I was 21, ran it for years and then took it off the road and left it up the farm until I was ready to do the restoration work it needed (I couldn't weld back then... Some people might say I still can't 😅 ) as the rear quarters and sills were going to crap. I started her up the other day and noticed she wasn't charging, so I'll probably strip the alternator and repair it over the next few days. As for the welding, you guessed it, I'll get round to it! 1992 Citroen BX Break 1.7 TZD - Well, it was free to a good home, and I had just dropped a car off and had an empty car transporter... What would anyone else do?! She's done nearly 300k miles, and has lots of holes for me to weld up. Otherwise runs fine, no trouble starting, suspension goes up and down as needed, doesn't spray green fluid all over the shop. I've had all the interior out and cleaned it thoroughly, removed most of the spiders, fitted the missing trim - basically done anything I can to avoid the harder jobs. It's due to become our holiday bus though, so I've scheduled some time over the next few months to get stuck in to the welding. This is probably one of the cars I'm most excited about running, as I reckon it will be a pretty decent estate to run around in. 1988 Zastava 311 - A bit of a random one, but I've always wanted a Zastava just for the obscurity. This one came up in January, and had been sat in barns since 1996 apparently. It didn't run when I got it, but I've slowly replaced pretty much everything in the engine bay, along with all the brake components and lines, and she runs now. Just the welding left to do, and she's ready for MOT. I have been fairly productive with this project, up until several cars within my family broke at the same time and I ended up working on those in my spare time instead of my toys. Only one family car left to fix and I'll be back on my projects again hopefully. I will try to put an individual post to follow for each car, as and when I can be bothered to do a write up of what I've done with each of them to bring them up to date, and then after that I'll try and get posts and pics up as I do jobs on them. I suspect the first thing to get up will be the Skoda, as that's what I'm actively working on currently. And seeing as you made it this far through my rambling, here's a picture of the Favorit:
  8. This. By popular* demand* here is a thread about the least popular VW van around. The photo is as bought, back in 2006. Purchased with a year's MOT, 6 months tax, and a caravan all for £600. To his credit, the seller had received many enquiries from people wanting to buy either the caravan or van, but not both although refused to end the auction early when there were bids already on it. So it failed to go anywhere near what I thought it would sell for. The combination suited us well, as we could live in the caravan wile we carried out major house work, and use the van for carrying building materials. This we did, enduring a sometimes cosy but often cold winter in the caravan while I used the LT as my only road legal vehicle. It was already carpeted inside, with a simple electrical system as it had been previously used as a motorbike race van. It saw a little bit of use as a 'tent on wheels', seen here in Scotland in 2007: I'd always wanted to build a campervan, although I kept this quiet when seeking domestic funding for buying it in the first place! So when the bulk of the work was done, I suggested using some fittings from the caravan to convert it. This was met with approval (to my surprise), and we planned to take it to a festival one August. I waited for a forecast of dry weather, but none came and I was running out of time so ended up booking time off work a week before the festival. The reason for dry weather is that I wanted to tackle some welding... As it turned out, I had one dry day to work on it! After much searching I'd bought some genuine VW panels (despite forum experts saying there were none remaining), which fitted very nicely Managed to get that far on Monday, then it was time to tackle the floorpan but I'll leave that tale for another day...
  9. Old car - check Full of rust - check Siezed engine - check Cheapest on the internet - check Bought sight unseen - check No space for it - check Poo count - 1.5
  10. Well, here we go again. I bit the bullet and bought me this. It's still up at the lot right now, there will be a miniature Collection Thread embedded in this thread when I go fetch it. Hopefully if the weather's good, that'll be this weekend. So, what is it? As the title suggests, it's a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain. It's got a flat-head straight eight hiding in the engine bay, 4.4 litres of it. It's bolted to a 4-speed Hydra-Matic Drive gearbox. No torque converter on this one, just a fluid coupling. 116 horses at a screaming 3700 RPM, 240lb/ft at 2000. It idles at 375 RPM. Redline just shy of 4k. Did I mention it's quite big? Sixteen foot eight from end to end and it seats six people in comfort. Every door has a quarter-light, too. Comfort is provided by properly sized tyres and (quite surprisingly for the age of it) double independent wishbone front suspension. Steering is via worm/wheel steering box so is moderately direct and the brakes are hydraulic drums all round. Modern and scientific! It's an honest example; looks to have had a "restoration" about 15-20 years back and the rust is coming through the seams and filler. The bottoms of the door skins have gone, the bottom of the A-pillars have gone (the front doors, on a single hinge a piece still open and close with one finger!) And it's got a couple holes and blebs in all the places you would expect. Not much electrical works. It needs to be completely rewired because someone has "converted" it to 12V. Thankfully it was originally negative ground so that's a good start. Gauges and such can be driven from a 6V bucking converter. Engine has had some work done on it- starts and runs nicely with very little greb coming out of the exhaust. It's got a few gaskets that need replacing and the tappets need some major adjustment, the gearbox engages gears correctly, the steering is okay but has a lot of slack in the center and the brakes work well, dont sink or feel spongy but need adjustment. More to come. I'll post up more pictures when I get it home. --Phil
  11. For as long as I can remember I have been aware of a dead K-prefix Mondeo saloon languishing on the drive of a house about two streets away from here. It had obviously been sat there for many years without moving. I kept meaning to drop a note through the door enquiring about it, but as always I never got round to it. Until now. With Bob the Renault 6 currently on hold pending a possible sale after lockdown and the Maxi mothballed due to lack of places to take it to I was getting bored, so last Friday I did just that. Things moved on very rapidly from there. Timeline: Saturday morning. I received a phone call from the owner's daughter, who informed me that her father had owned the car since it was 18 months old and cherished it for years, doing about 2 or 3 thousand miles a year in it until 2013, when it failed the MoT: Date tested 17 September 2013 Fail Mileage 70,926 miles Reason(s) for failure Service brake: efficiency below requirements (3.7.B.7) Brakes imbalanced across an axle (3.7.B.5b) He was told by the local garage he used that it would cost about £1000 to fix even if they could get the parts, which they said was doubtful. How can inefficient and unbalanced rear brakes cost that much to fix? And can Mondeo parts be unobtainium already? Maybe I will find out in due course. Anyway, he decided that was more than the car was worth but, being very attached to it, he simply parked it on the drive and left it there. Apparently he died about 3 years ago but his wife couldn't bear to see it go, so there it stayed until now. Coincidentally his wife died a few weeks ago, so I hope my approach didn't seem like grave robbing. Their daughter was planning to have the car taken away for scrap, so I was intending to offer her scrap value for it and see if it could be saved. However, she was so pleased at the prospect of her dad's beloved motor being revived that, without me making an offer, she immediately offered it to me for the princely sum of zero pounds. She also agreed that quicksilver and myself could work on it where it sat until such time as we could move it. She said that she would endeavour to find the V5 and the keys. Timeline: Saturday afternoon. Checking the registration online showed it to be a 2.0i Ghia, built in Belgium in May 1993 and registered in the UK on 15th June 1993. K prefix registrations ran from August 1992 to July 1993 but the Mondeo was not launched in the UK until 22nd March 1993, so had been in production less than three months, making this a very early Mark 1. Has been on SORN since September 2013. Let's go and see what we have. It's walking distance so that counts as exercise doesn't it ?. Didn't even know if it was a manual or an automatic. Turns out it's a 5-speed manual. Apart from flat tyres it doesn't look to bad from a distance. But what about the blind side next to the fence. Fortunately it had been parked far enough away to see it. Urgh! It's green instead of blue. Back of the roof has bloomed badly, but laquer doesn't appear to have peeled. We took a cordless tyre inflator so the first job was to attempt to pump the tyres up. We weren't very hopeful as it had been sitting here for 7 years. The two nearside tyres had 0psi in them, the offside front had about 7psi in it and the offside rear had about 12psi in it. They were all pumped up to a nominal 30psi and appeared to stay up. Timeline: Sunday afternoon. Let's take a bucket of soapy water round and give it a quick swill. Three tyres still up. Nearside rear flat again. 75% success rate. Not bad. Pumped the flat one back up again. Throw bucket of water over car and apply sponge and nylon brush. While washing it we noticed bubbles issuing from from a tiny pinhole in the bottom of the sidewall of the nearside rear tyre. That will be why it went flat again then. It looks like there may have been a thorn or a sharp piece of stone on the drive next to the bottom of the tyre and when it went completely flat the weight of the car pushed it through the sidewall. That's looking better. Not much more we can do without the keys as it's all locked up. Timeline: Monday morning. Another phone call from the daughter. She is at the house and has found the V5 and one key. Also handbook and service record. Thinks there may be another key somewhere. We wander round there and do the necessary paper work. It is now offically ours! Timeline: Monday afternoon. Send off new keeper slip and SORN declaration. This time we have to take the Zafira full of tools in an attempt to get it moving. It has been left with the handbrake on and the front discs look well rusty, so I bet the brakes have seized on. Takes 2 hands to lift the handbrake lever, then 2 hands to press the button and release the ratchet. Rock the car gently and, wonder of wonders, all four wheels appear to rotate. First hurdle overcome. Don't want to bore you guys but some of you might like to know our technique for attempting to revive a long-dead engine, honed at various Field of Dreams chod-tinkerings. Check oil and water levels. Oil looks pretty clean so probably serviced not long before it was laid up. Remove spark plugs. These all look in good condition. Pour a spoonful of engine oil into each cylinder just to give some extra bore lubrication on initial turn over. Engine compartment is so cramped that can't see an easy way to try and turn the engine with a spanner, so drop a long screwdriver into one of the spark plug holes so that it rests on top the piston, engage fourth gear and attempt to push the car down the drive, which fortunately has a reasonable downward slope. Watch the screwdriver and, sure enough, we see it rising. The engine isn't seized, thank goodness we don't have another Bob on our hands. Because the owner's other car was parked alongside we could not get the Zafira in to jump the battery so we connected up one of the two knackered old batteries we had brought round. Didn't want to risk connecting across a totally dead battery and shorting out the other one, so left the positive terminal connected to the original battery but disconnected the earth wires from the original battery and connected the negative jump lead to the isolated leads, thus removing the original battery from the system. Doing it this way ensures that the positive connections are still kept clear of any metalwork that could cause a short and the negative connection is earthed anyway, so doesn't matter if that touches any other metal. Turned on the ignition and, lo and behold, we have assorted dashboard warning lights. Hit the starter. Click. We were right, this battery is knackered. Try the other one. Whirr, whirr, the engine spins over. Let it spin until the oil pressure light goes out. Clean the plugs with a wire brush (not that they appeared to need it) and replace them. Reconnect the HT leads, making sure they are in the right order. Chug, chug, chug. Engine reluctantly turns over but not fast enough to fire. Remember we have a the tiny but powerful Chinese jump pack in the glove box of the Zafira, so this is deployed. Chug, chug, cough, splutter, BLOODY HELL IT'S ONLY RUNNING! Remove jump pack and it is still running on the alternator output. Leave it running while we check the condition of the spare wheel. Full size alloy, not one of these horrible space-saver things. Appears to have some air in it. Pump it up and fit it to the nearside rear. Try driving it up and down the drive to test the brakes. As we expected they were not great, but worked well enough to stop it eventually. Unfortunately the handbrake would also stop the car but the ratchet would not re-engage so having freed off the brakes it now insisted on rolling down the drive. So we took a deep breath and, leaving everything behind, we set off for home. No collection thread as the distance involved was about 500 yards, but target achieved with no problems, except for the power-assisted steering, which apparently now isn't. Have a cup of tea then walk back round to pile all the detritus back into the Zafira and drive it home. Gone. Mossy piece of tarmac blinking in the sunlight for the first time in 7 years. In its new home. Bob is not impressed by this non-French interloper and turns his back on it. Let's see what we have. Nicely mouldy steering wheel. Oh look, footwell lights. I say, how posh, did I mention it's a Ghia. Illuminated vanity mirrors. Can this get any posher? Optional giffer pack included. Lots of damp and mouldy boot trim now basking in the sunshine. So, what is the overall assessment. On cursory inspection it appears to have zero rot on the bodywork or the underside. Haven't tried everything yet. A few of the lights don't work (hopefully just bulbs or mouldy connections). Nor do the screenwashers. The two main problems seem to be the non-working power steering and the ABS warning light being on. But haven't had time for in-depth investigations yet, so here's hoping an MoT can be passed eventually. No rush, it is a lockdown project after all. By now I am sure you are all bored to death so I will stop rambling. Bloody hell these threads take a long time to compile. Stay tuned for more developments. Or not.
  12. I've had various threads on the go for different collections this year, but thought I'd condense my threads into one manageable thread to document my ham-fisted tinkering. At the turn of the year I was driving a nice, dependable, modern 2011 Peugeot 407 and no other vehicle. It was nice enough, but boring as feck. I'd bought it after a series of disastrous heaps in the awkward age bracket of being new and valuable enough to worry about but old enough to be fucked. The 407 was just too new, too bloated and dull. I had a hankering for old metal, my Mineral Oil withdrawal pangs were strong. From January I started looking, there were eBay bids, missed reserves, wasted trips from Gumtree and other such nonsense. I happened on an automatic Rover 216 GSI with one giffer owner from a year old. The chap was giving up driving at 93 years old and his grandson was moving it on. I bid, and failed. It was in London though, about 420 miles away so I wasn't all that bothered. Of course when he offered it to me for my losing bid after the winning buyer was a no show I said yes. I was on the Megabus down to that London overnight for about £15. I hung about in Liverpool Street station like a mad shivering jakey until my train out to the suburb for my first sight of the new steed. It was battered outside but had been well looked after. A frankly insulting amount of cash changed hands and I was away up the road. We had many adventures together, it was dependable and it whet my appetite for interesting old motors again and proved that the very bottom end of the market was navigable if I had the patience to wade through the sea of shit to find the odd pearl. The 407 was still on the fleet at this point but I was covering a lot of miles in the Rover, with a long commute though the fuel economy wasn't ideal. When a friend's mother was looking for a new diesel saloon to replace the faithful old Xsara she had a scheme was concocted. I sold the 407 to her and was on the hunt for an interesting replacement. When I was growing up my dad had a succession of hopeless shitters, indeed I was brought home from the hospital as a newborn in a brush painted Skoda Super Estelle. The best car he had was a red XUD Peugeot 405 with air conditioning and electric windows. So when I found a 1994 GTXD advertised by someone who could actually compose a car advert in the fashion you would expect of a human being educated to a Primary School level, I pounced. Of course I couldn't buy a car just down the road so it was on the train to Birmingham. First class no less. I stayed in an absolute flea pit of a hotel and drove up the road the next day. This was a proper bit of nostalgia and a really practical borderline classic car. It had been fastidiously maintained by the previous owner. Apart from there being a hole where there was once a stereo and the lack of working air con it was a pleasant drive home. Given their relative scarcity and how dependable this one has proven so far, it's a keeper, I'd struggle to part with it. Two cars just wasn't enough to worry about, so this Citroen C1 was acquired. Pure Aleppo spec. A camel can go for weeks, or months without stopping at a watering hole, the C1 has a similar thirst for Motor Spirit. Man maths were employed and worked out that it would easily* pay for itself. There have been further movements, I'll recap them shortly. I should probably do some work.
  13. Having lurched on here for a while, and being much jealous of everyone’s exploits and skills. I thought it was time to introduce my scruffy 1.6 BX Meteor. I didn’t do it earlier as I didn’t think anyone would be interested. I haven’t taken many photographs of any work being done, because it’s just me, getting on and mending stuff that I can do. Any way I have the mechanical skills of a retarded ant, and tend to make things worse, so I have decided to get the work done proper, as it works out cheaper. The car is quite well known in the Citroen Car Club, so I am told, and a few pictures have appeared of it, including one of it lurking in the background on here. The car was collected from Southport, in July 2017, It was “MOTed” we ran it for the rest of the summer, and the summer of 2018until the MOT ran out. It suffered a few faults, including the exhaust falling off, and damaging the car behinds’ sump, causing him to loose all his oil. It has also had one fail to proceed, caused by the coil failing. Most of the interior giffer bodges have been sorted by myself. It has now been welded, new LHM lines, new fuel lines, and other work to make it structurally sound, including new sub-frame mounts and steering work. Next winter will be an engine rebuild as it smokes on the over run, and finally the body will done. New wheels and tyres next month and MOT in March. I love it as it is, it’s comfortable, cruses at the same speed as modern traffic and has everything I need in a car.. The spoiler is being painted as it had the surface finish of crazy paving, and isn’t attached.attachment=236947:image.jpg]. I will also introduce my Acadiane which is trapped in the garage. But here’s a preview, with the MZ languishing in the back ground.
  14. Fackin oops. My goal was not to buy any more cars but with the Lanchester out of action while we work through it and make it safe to use, and the Princess out of action and needing the engine to be removed (a job I am procrastinating about, and when I'm motivated am thwarted by schedule and weather conflicts) it was getting more obvious that I needed some personal transport. Something basic and reliable that I know my way around, that's going to be cheap to buy and run. This is an ideal candidate, on paper. Whether I really can just use it as An Car or will end up getting all finicky about making it nice remains to be seen. I just want some hasslefree pootling for a few months and normally Maestros are just that.
  15. Yeah, so this started with one of those slightly cryptic Facebook posts on a local classic car club group: Hmm. Maybe it's actually a 14 if it's really 40 years old? But absolutely none of those have been on my radar locally for at least 20 years. Possibly an 18? Enquiries were made and I tracked down the car: Ah, ok an actual 19 then, with suspected track rod end issues. Despite appearances, actually in regular use up until autumn 2019 when the insurance ran out and it was parked up. Go on then! Started up easy enough, helped by a newish looking battery, so I went back home to sort out insurance and obtain suitable transport for collection: I live on the fringes of St Helier, Jersey's main urban area. Nowhere's further than a modest bike ride away, but with the right route it can be a very rural experience: I would encourage anybody to come and pay a visit some time - the borders reopened in July and the island is welcoming visitors who are uneasy about France or Spain. Very quickly I find myself practically in the countryside. Some nice big old piles in between the fields: Unexpected tat hoard located, with 205 and Escort content: Onwards: And onto what passes for a main road for a bit. Back onto the lanes: And we're here. Owner has kindly extracted the R19 from the "garage". What you're seeing here is an older-style Jersey registration document, issued in 1998. The owner purchased this from the local Renner dealer (Bagot Road Garage, still trading today and still selling Renners) back in 1991! Paperwork completed, it's time to lob the bike in the back, loads of room in these with seats folded forwards. All right let's go! 114k on the odometer. The first thing I determine, other than the "something wrong in the steering department" is that this thing is somewhat electrically deficient. - Indicators = not functioning - Rear wiper = not functioning - Stereo = not functioning Which made me slightly concerned that the brake lamps might not be functioning. With half a tank of slightly stale pez I had no need for the filling station shot, but I pulled off the road (using Highway Code-approved hand signals) to lob some air in the tyres: Pleasingly, at this point I was able to identify that both brake lights (and both sidelamps) did indeed work as they should. That cheered me up a bit. Queue for a lane closure at roadworks allowed me to get a shite picture of this shite looking Fourtrak And we've made it home! That'll help keep house price valuations down to manageable levels. My wife doesn't know about this yet. She works three mornings a week so I'm going to sneak out to it when she's in the office, and gradually give it a good look over. So far however I've concluded that the nearside track rod is loose and knocking in the bellows where it meets the rack, therefore that's the first job to tackle before I think about notching up any more miles in it. Got a file with bills etc in - I'll leaf through that shortly and report back!
  16. I wasn't looking for another scabby motor vehicle but while Autoshite was briefly down the other weekend i had a quick nose about on Retrorides and spied Boris looking a bit sad in the for sale section. To be honest i have always had zero interest in Morris Minors they have that "coffin dodger" / OAP stigma that BMC's finest can't seem to shake off but i guess now i have hit 50 plus my outlook has started to change. A few WhatsApp messages and phone calls later and a deal was done. Boris was loitering on a drive way in Mansfield unused since 2015 and 180 miles away from "Chez Spud" but the excellent World of Ceri collected and dropped him off at mine with zero fuss or drama. In the rain he looked half tidy and the miss matched paint on his rear quarter gives him added character honest.
  17. Hello all I inherited this Santa Fe V6 about seven years ago. Shortly afterwards the fuel line split and the car was parked up. After towing it to parking locations (and after the rats moved in!) I've decided to get it running. It's too good to scrap (only 30k miles), too naff to sell so I've decided to get it running and have some fun with it. When I did drive the car years ago it was actually quite nice to drive. It's also got all of toys: sunroof, heated seats, leather etc. Here's a video of me trying to get it to run. Will it start?!
  18. Thought I'd start a thread about my old Capri since it's now reached it's turn in the que to receive a bit of attention. I've actually had this since 2001, it's an early mk2, on an M reg 1974. Being an early car it's still got mk1 rear axle and single acting type rear brake set up aswell as a few other minor differences from later cars just to use up remaining mk1 parts. It started life here in the Portsmouth area and doesn't seem to have ventured far since. Originally a stardust silver 1.6 L poverty model, which means virtually sod all regarding luxuries. Basic 2 pod dash with black 'crackle' finish facia, no radio, no sun roof or vinyl roof, not even a centre console! When I got to it unfortunately it had suffered severely from serious rust and latterly a vandal attack, having it's door and rear quarter panel booted in. Over the next couple of years I got it sorted and a cheap re paint into roman bronze, which was a favourite colour of mine at the time. For the first year or two it seemed fine but since then things have deteriorated. The respray wasn't good! It's thin in places and started to micro blister in various places, worst of which is all over the bonnet. The same bodyshop also did a bit of the bodywork I hadn't finished which was also pretty poor in some places. It's always been a great driver and never struggles at mot time so I just kept on using it and doing nothing more than collecting parts now and again with a view to sort it one day. It's also gained a few non original extras over the years like a higher spec wood effect 2 pod dash facia (which I like more than the original), a short console, brown interior instead of the utterly fucked black original, 'laser' 4 spoke alloys and a few other things. Anyway, fast forward to last weekend, when I dusted it off after winter and noticed various areas of new rust coming through or older rust that's gotten worse. So the decision was made to go for a professional resto job now before I end up finding something else to distract me (like big american cars with knackered engines!). 1974 Ford Capri BBK244M by Dan Clark, on Flickr Here it is as it currently stands. Looks ok from a distance but the reality is very rough around the edges and the paint is so bad in places it's becoming embarrassing! IMG_0509 by Dan Clark, on Flickr And the interior which I'll be re trimming into black leather at some point after the body works done. It's been taken to the same place that did my Mercury's engine rebuild, since they did such a good job and they seem a good professional bunch. I dropped it off Monday afternoon for a thorough check over to build up a list of work and get a rough quote. Today I heard back from them. Good news so far, I suppose. It is as solid where it counts as I thought it was. Chassis is fine, original strut tops fine, most of the back end is solid and just needs a few repairs here and there. The worst is the bottom of the windscreen surround due to the wrong seal being used and then fitted badly causing leaks. Inner sill to A post bottom corner very scabby, front wings pretty crap, and various paint defects etc. The engine is fine, compression all in tolerances. Suspension needs work, and some brake pipes are getting quite rusty. So far so good and no surprises! There's still more checking to do over the next few days but it sounds alright so far. This work should be made a bit easier by having a lot of panels and parts to fix things already. The big find being a new unused pair of front wings. Very hard to find mk2 items now, though I did have to pay for them! The plan here is to make the car solid, reliable and good looking. I'm not making a show car or going too mad as that stuffs not my thing and if it was I'd start with a better more original car. Some of the later add ons will be ditched like the mk3 boot spoiler that I hate! And return it to more standard looking mk2 as it should be. No go faster mods or anything like that. The main priority is to get the body sorted and painted properly (engine out job and everything) then maybe a bit of mechanical work as needed. The original idea was to re paint back into original stardust silver, but having thought about it I'm leaning more towards another favourite Ford colour of the era, Miami blue metallic, which is a lovely colour! Any opinions? This will be another expensive project but not one I think I could do at home on the drive and do justice to, so I'd prefer to farm it out and get it right this time. It also means I can carry on working on my Transit and Granada at home without another distraction! For anyone whose interested I'll try to update this now and then as things progress. I'll also try to get the old pics of the car from when I got it so you can see how rusty it was! Bear in mind though that I paid £100 for this car in 2001 with MOT and tax! Try doing that now. I'm sure this is going to be worth the expense, not that I'm even considering selling it of course but I've had it so long I kind of feel obligated to do right by the car in a weird way!
  19. You can never have too many project cars, right? Good job, then - this turned up this afternoon! I absolutely love it. It’s battered and bruised but that’s the whole point of a Panda is it not? Used and abused. More to follow 👀
  20. This evening I venture forth into hitherto unknown lands (Kirkintilloch) to collect my latest acquisition. Which, naturally, has issues. I have purchased my first line of defence. Which appears to have antigravity properties More will follow this evening...
  21. At close to the turn of the last century the Glasgow firm of Alley and Maclennan moved to Shrewsbury and changed their name to Sentinel. They developed a steam cart that became known as the Standard and because it was so much better than most of what had gone before they sold a shed load of them and made a lot of money. However, by the early 1920s the Standard was old hat and had a number of design issues (trival matters like no brakes to speak of were becoming more important as roads got busier and loads got heavier). Sentinel put their thinking caps on to design something new and then went bust. The company was kicked back into life with a name that was only slightly different put their thinking caps back on and came up with the next model. It had features that were super. Its engine was super, the cab was super and it even had a foot brake which were super. There could only be one name for a waggon (two Gs because Sentinel couldn't spell either) that was this super and that is what we are discussing here. The Super deserved its name because despite a number of odd design features it was pretty much the sweet spot. A decent cab and brakes but without the problems of the later models. I've posted this one a couple of times already but I can't be bothered uploading another example of a Super - they all look about the same. This is a Super Sentinel with a coke body on it. For the uninitiated the general idea is the boiler sits right at the front in the cab and is fired from the top. The bunker is in the cab too. You then have the twin cylinder engine slung under the chassis with a chain driving each rear wheel. Steam waggons are bad for all sorts of reasons which is why lorries have pretty much always run on diesel. They do have a few advantages. They are quiet, they produce more torque than you have heard of and they don't have gears. Open the throttle and go. They are a joy to drive on the road. Particularly in traffic. And here's the one we built back in the early 1990s. What I mean by "built" should become apparent as we go on. You will note a few key differences. This one has windscreens. This was a period option and are essential. It also has pnematics rather than solids. Many waggons were returned to the factory to be converted from solids to pneumatics which allowed them to run at a legal maximum of 20mph instead of 12mph. We drive our waggons on the road so solids are a non-starter. You will also see that this one is very short. Some were cut down to drawbar tractors in period, however, in our case the shortness of the wheelbase was forced on us because where it lived at the time we couldn't get anything longer into the shed. It was finished in 1995 and we did about 3500 miles in it - the above photo was taken about 130 miles from home. We got bored of it in 2000 and sold it to a chap who did about 12,000 miles in it. The old girl is living down south somewhere now. We moved onto the restoration of the later S Type Sentinel (photo elsewhere) and a couple of years ago we decided that we would build another Super because they are bestest. This time round we will build it longer because the ultra short wheelbase of the last one wasn't brilliant on the road. Think SWB Series III Land Rover with tired springs and you'll know where I am coming from. So what we are aiming for this time round is something with the wheelbase and body of the Charringtons one up there with the windscreens and pneumatics of the one below it. Oh, and steam brakes and electric lights which are all period options/factory modifications. There is a bit to catch up on so it will take a few posts. If it gets too dull let me know and I will stop. Oh, and I am crap at taking pictures.
  22. I've been keeping an eye out for a cheap runaround recently. Our Civic has been doing the brunt of our journeys and in 7months of ownership we've covered nearly 10k miles. Also where Mrs SiC works has lost its car park and it's been left on main roads. As we don't really want it damaged, it's not ideal. So I've been keeping an eye out for something essentially to replace the Fabia I had. Small, easy to park and cheap to buy+run. Second gen (2008 on) Seat Ibiza 1.4 is on the cards and can be had for under 2k Anyway yesterday we were out and about. I was doing a browse of Autotrader and found a really cheap A3 2.0 TFSi. Basically a Golf GTi in an Audi suit but much cheaper. This in particular was half many go for retail. As we passed, I went to see it. TL;DR Unfortunately the dealer had morals. Someone else was travelling from Bournemouth and he gave them first refusal. Shame as it drove well, had an inch stack of history and even Mrs SiC gave her (rare) thumbs up for it. Did have rusty front wings and duct tape over it, but that's fine for what it'll be used for. After this, it got me thinking that while I like the idea of a cheap to run car, I'll get bored of it. Even though a grand or two is not a lot nowadays, it's still enough. I've now got it in my head I want something decently fast. But there isn't a lot around for that sort of money. Basically the criteria is: - small and thus easy to park (i.e. when I'm late to the train) - sub 2k and ideally less is better - CAZ exempt so basically petrol euro 4 on - not too ridiculous on fuel - 30+ and really 35+ mpg - light steering as Mrs SiC gets annoyed with heavy to drive cars - bodywork condition unimportant but not to the degree of just come out of a banger race There isn't a lot that meet those requirements. Putting a search into Autotrader of sub 8sec 0-60 and sub 2k brings back a lot of one car model. Despite their age now, Mrs SiC gives the nod and like them. That vehicle (if you can't read titles) is the TT mk1. (Bonnet up picture deliberate as many have this as their default position) I used to hate these. I keep saying I hate VAG. I also hate my job but I keep going back to every day. I mean it could be that I'm just a grumpy fucker that says he hates everything but doesn't actually. Anyway like I say I hate work when I'm not at it, I enjoy it immensely when I'm there. Likewise when I'm sat in a VAG product, I do enjoy the experience. Every VAG vehicle Mrs SiC has driven she's liked a lot. Even reluctantly at first (because they are so butt ugly) she actually quite liked the Fabia MK1. So I know something like this is a safe bet that she'll drive it. The looks have soften off in my eyes and I do quite fancy a TT Mk1. Or maybe I just enjoy inflicting pain on myself too much. Gives me something to be grumpy and moan about. There are a few contenders out there that I want to take a look at, any tips on what I should look out for? I'm after critical problems here. Door locks/regulators, dodgy switchgear and such are par for course on this age VAG. That I'm expecting to be broken. Thinking probably 1.8t with the 180bhp engine. Ideally no Quattro Haldex that undoubtedly has been neglected. Or any other similar suggestions that meet the above criteria!
  23. Time machines do not exist. The only real way 'home', back to the twentieth century anyway, is via the imagination. Anyway, writing is my hobby; I'm not that good at it, but I am willing. The historical novel is where I currently find myself, fiction wise. Readers of such things, apologies if you are such and are being taught to suck eggs, love accuracy. They are quite right to; anything less than accuracy places one's work in the realms of pastiche or wish fulfilment. What's the point of that? Why expend so much time and effort and get things wrong? Getting things right is more difficult. One has many things to consider, but those can be split into the broad topic areas of language and facts. Language is the interesting bit: one must breathe life into long dead styles of prose and dialogue construction and, once up and running, use them. Facts are simultaneously easy to get hold of and nigh on impossible to come by; you know how it is. The best thing to do is ask people. God only knows how writers of proper historical fiction, Mantel et. al., get on as they can hardly ask a Tudor or a Victorian what he or she thinks about whatever. To make my life easier, I'm not going that far into the past. The hope is that you can, if you are able to spare the time, answer some car related questions in order to assist with the writing project. To set the scene: it's April 3rd 1981. Easter is coming up and Hill Street Blues was on Thames last night; The Little World of Don Camillo was on the other side, for those whose parents only watched the BBC. Manufacturing output is down by about 9%; unemployment is high, especially among the youth; Thatcher isn't greatly popular as monetarist policy doesn't seem to be doing what was claimed; the economy isn't quite in recession; Healey and Benn are vying for deputy leadership of The Labour Party. Sarah Delaney, our protagonist, lives in a rented room in Romford and works in a small factory in a still industrial Barking. The roads are, of course, full of old favourites...
  24. I think the Broadsword fleet has become sufficiently complicated to merit a combined thread so that gradually all new additions will appear in one place. As of Sunday 17th March the situation is interesting. Two Citoren Xantias (remember the white Xantia of Excellence is for sale people!) http://autoshite.com/topic/34699-w-reg-citroen-xantia-20-hdi-xantia-of-excellence-%C2%A3999/ http://autoshite.com/topic/34596-citroen-xantia-double-madness-rust/page-2 A turquoise XJR6 pending overdue-collection (need that gone now!) http://autoshite.com/topic/34003-jaguar-xjr6-double-madness-double-sold An XJS 3.6 manual project which will get in high gear soonish. Wont be a keeper but will be fun getting it back to something presentable. Drivers fantastic! http://autoshite.com/topic/34664-jaguar-xjs-36-manual A Range Rover P38, which is turning out to be really rather good. And to mix things up even more I'm off on a collection caper today. Had first refusal on it and was expecting it to come around in a year, but things soon changed and no way was I going to pass up on it. It may well render the second Xantia redundant as I've got a really good feeling about this motor. In the meantime here are some snaps of the Range Rover. As usual it was a car I said I would probably never buy due to their reliability*. I have said the same of Jag XJR, XJS, XK8 and I have had all of those now. Basically the moment I declare buying a particular car is impractical or improbable, I end up buying one. Things to note on the P38. It's a nice colour with tidy body. The EAS has been removed. It runs and drives lovely and it doesn't have enough electrical problems to hinder progress. The main one is the driver's side window not working, but that should be fixable. I've tried changing the outstation, that didn't fix it. Might be wiring under the seat. Other than that I bought it and took it for an MOT the very next day, and it passed. Since then it had what seemed like a battery drain, but since unplugging the RF thingy for the remote locking and putting on a proper lead-acid battery, which the car can actually charge, unlike the modern lead-calcium batteries, it has been perfect. I will treat it to a full service soon. Stay tuned for the latest collection later today!
  25. Thought I should probably start a thread, given that a few people have suggested it. For my sins, my first car was a 1985 Hyundai Stellar. Bought back in 1997, when the sun still shone, I had more hair, and the world was generally a better place. This may be the earliest photo I have, I think from 1998: Anyway, I drove everywhere in it, and clocked up over 100k miles before I was given an Alfa Romeo 75. So I took the Stellar off the road for some much needed TLC. Made some progress on it - Rebuilt all the suspension, fitted a rebuilt Cortina* rear axle, Princess 4 pot front calipers and Capri vented discs etc - before a couple of house moves and renovations put it on the back burner. * before anyone says they are identical underneath, there are some differences. I fitted a replacement axle fairly early on in my ownership, only to fit that not only was the propshaft flange the wrong size, the UJ was totally different so I couldn't even fit a new yoke. Finding a company on the day before New Year's Eve who could cut off the end, weld a new UJ on and balance it wasn't too easy, especially one that was accessible by push bike! Anyway, late last year I found some renewed motivation, and have been working on it when time and money permit. Here is what it looked like in October: OMG barn find? Front suspension OK at first glance... ...but it has turned out the calipers had seized (so are away being rebuilt) and all the (brand new) ball joint boots had perished: Quite a bit of welding is needed too, but I had a setback just before Christmas when we were burgled and my welder stolen Crusty roof rail I've cleared some of the crap away from it now (it's not stored at mine - I'd love to own somewhere that big!) so might be able to get more photos. Currently working on the rear brakes, and disappointed to find that the shotblasted rear axle is now starting to rust after two coats of POR15 and 7 years storage under cover...
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